Structured Collaborative Task
All collaborative learning activities should be connected to state standards. For this example activity, the Ohio English Language Arts indicator covered is from the Literary Text Standard for the eighth grade. Most states have a similar learning goal or indicator: Identify and explain various types of characters (e.g., flat, round, dynamic, static) and how their interactions and conflicts affect the plot.
Group Task: Stu dents will choose one flat, round, dynamic and static character from the novel that the class just read or from a literature circle novel. After they choose the characters, they will make cut-outs to represent each character. They will need to write why each character is the type it is and to explain how the character's interactions affect the plot.
Steps for Character Type Cut-outs Collaborative Activity
Step 1: Put students into small groups, four students per group.
Step 2: Students need to choose a job title or individual role:
- Group Leader: keep group on task, help resolve group conflict, and lead presentation
- Artistic Leader: leader of the character cut-outs and artwork
- Flat and Round Character Leader: leader of fact finding for these two cut-outs
- Static and Dynamic Character Leader: leader of fact finding for these two cut-outs
Step 3: The teacher needs to explain the task to the students. Students should know that they will be assessed as individuals and as a group. They will be assessed individually on role as a specific leader. As a group, they will be assessed on teamwork, content, creativity, neatness, and presentation skills. Teachers can create a rubric and hand it out at this point of the lesson.
Step 4: Students need time to work together to complete the cut-outs. The exact design, shape and size should be left up to the students and their creativity. However, if there is a small wall space to hang the character cut-outs, then the teacher should let the students know.
Step 5: After the cut-outs are complete, the students need to work together to decide how they want to present the cut-outs to the class. They will need time to practice the presentation.
Step 6: Small groups will present their character cut-outs. They need to remember to include the author and title of the book in their presentation.
This is just one collaborative activity where students can learn core concepts while working in a group. Most students enjoy the projects and they can showcase their artistic abilities.